5 steps to dog-proofing your workplace

Are your employees asking you to bring their dogs into work? Read our guide first.

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Monday, Jul 08, 2019

3 min read

Amazon, Google and Nestlé are just some of the businesses allowing dogs into their offices. And not just for the cute Instagram pics…

Dogs can bring a bunch of benefits to your workforce. They can improve productivity, encourage exercise, and according to one US study even reduce stress.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But working with dogs isn’t as easy as it seems. So if you’re thinking about welcoming dogs into your workplace, here are five steps you need to take before you can let the dogs out.

  1. Get staff on board

Not everyone’s a dog lover so you shouldn’t assume that they are. Some employees might have a genuine phobia of dogs or even a severe allergy.

And that’s why you should always get your people’s written permission before you open up your workplace to dogs. If enough people say no, think about scrapping your puppy plans.

  1. Do a dog risk assessment

Like you would do for any other hazard, you need to carry out a risk assessment when someone wants to bring their dog in.

You need to think about potential risks such as biting or scratching. And from there, decide how you’re going to prevent them from happening.

  1. Make dog owners take charge

If your employees want to bring their dogs into work, they have to be responsible for them during the working day.

They need to take them for regular walks (or get someone else to) and keep their canines calm and under control. If they don’t, you might have to ask them to not bring their dog in again.

  1. Ban sickly dogs from the workplace

This is a pretty obvious one. But your people shouldn’t bring their dog into work if it’s sick.

The poorly pup could create a real mess in your workplace and distract not only their owner but the rest of your people.

  1. Set up dog-free zones

No one wants to be eyeballed by a Chihuahua in the middle of a major presentation. So keep furry friends out of meeting rooms so that your staff can stay focused.

Bathrooms should also be a no-go zone. Instead, you could set aside an area in your workplace where dogs can lounge, drink and do their business.

Get help to write policies for dogs and humans...

Whether you’re writing a workplace pet policy or updating staff contracts, our HR specialists are just a phone call away.

They can advise you on how to create watertight documentation that protects your business. Plus, help you get your hands on sample HR templates that you can use as your own.

For expert HR guidance, ring us now on 0800 783 2806.

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